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Olsen, Quaranta and the Academy

*United MF Ben Olsen has still not participated in preseason workouts following surgery on both ankles in November and will need to undergo another procedure Monday.

Let's let Ben explain it: "The procedure involves taking blood and spinning the blood so the good healing blood is seperated from the other parts of the blood. Then that blood is going to be injected through some unknown way into my bone to stimulate bone and cartilage healing."

DCU GM Dave Kasper believes Olsen will be back in training in a month or so, adding that "this is similiar to when they had to go back in on Jaime Moreno and Eddie Pope to stimulate the healing process when they had their knees cleaned out."

*I hear from several contacts that Santino Quaranta, who in the last year and a half was traded by DCU, traded by L.A. and waived by N.Y., is getting himself into shape for a possible tryout. No word on what club(s) might be interested. (His representative declined to comment.) Quaranta was training on his own in California recently before returning home to Baltimore for individual workouts. He earned $105,000 last year and will likely have to settle for a serious paycut to get back into MLS. Believe it or not, after seven seasons in the league, he's still only 23 years old.

*The U.S. Soccer Development Academy will hold its first Winter Showcase this weekend at the Pizza Hut Park complex in Frisco, Tex., with 88 teams from 44 clubs involved, including Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, D.C. and New York. Many college coaches, as well as national team boss Bob Bradley and under-20 coach Thomas Rongen, are scheduled to attend. Interestingly, several former MLS players (as well as one current player) are coaching or directing various development academy squads: Eric Dade (Birmingham United), Marco Etcheverry, John Maessner and Judah Cooks (D.C. United youth), Steve Trittschuh (Colorado Rush), Jeff Baicher (De Anza), Jeff Larentowicz (FC Delco), Dan Calichman and Ted Chronopoulos (LAFC), Giovanni Savarese (Met Oval), Clint Peay (North Meck) and Brian Haynes (Real Colorado).

Geez, it's been a busy morning. Hope to have more to offer you later today, but it might be awhile. SG

By Steve Goff  |  February 15, 2008; 9:59 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Kirk to DCU [updated]


Get well Beninho!

Posted by: jgildea | February 15, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks SG. I admit, I'm a little worried about Olsen's recovery. It is hard to believe ________ is only 23. It's good to hear he is training and hopefully going to take things seriously and turn his career around.

Posted by: sitruc | February 15, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, Quaranta's only problems have been health and attitude. If he's seriously worked on the 'tude and the time off healed him, he's worth a flyer here for 35k or so. He did have some great stretches with us, and we need wing help. I also think we didn't handle him very well when he was young. I hope he's training with us, and that he's turned it around. But if it's not with us, I still hope he's turned it around.

Get healthy, Ben.

Posted by: O.W.A. Givaway, Brig. Gen. (Ret.), Mrs. | February 15, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the updates, as usual, Goff. We need Benny healthy! And fast!

Posted by: DCBird | February 15, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

He said BONE!



Posted by: Beavis | February 15, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I've always appreciated SQ's skills. If healthy and fit (a big if), he'd be a significant upgrade over Dyachenko, Mediate, et al.

Posted by: ahelms | February 15, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

If he is still waiting for cartilage to heal, that is at least four weeks wait, minimum. Cartilage has very little to no natural blood circulation and is therefore very slow to heal.

Out for a month, then still has to get match-ready.

DC plays the ganja boys in 3-4 weeks. I can't see Benny being ready by then.

Dammit! I hope he gets well soon, otherwise they will throw Moose in there.

Posted by: Erick | February 15, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Get well soon, Benny!

Posted by: jim d. | February 15, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

i'm rooting for tino. he's still got great potential.

get well benny!

Posted by: PKTaker | February 15, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like getting waived to light a fire under your butt. A healthy focused Tino could be an asset to any team. I think he'd be worth a look at. Can't hurt...

Posted by: Chico | February 15, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Quaranta burned his bridges. In fact, he nuked his bridges, and then salted the banks of the river where the bridges had been located. And he did that to people who had actually been friends with him in real life. If he were the second coming of RDA in his prime and were available for a developmental salary, I wouldn't want him here.

I wonder if it wouldn't be better for his head if he went overseas, even if that means Football League One or Football League Two in England, Serie C in Italy, etc.

Posted by: Bootsy | February 15, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

True, Tino did pull a bonehead....

Posted by: Chico | February 15, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm in agreement with the above. A humble and contrite Quaranta -- and healthy and fit, of course -- could provide some depth on the flanks or up top.

BTW, farewell to our colleague, UVA-United. Stay in touch.

Posted by: Joe Doc | February 15, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Heal up soon, Bennie! I'm gonna be in serious withdrawal for my favorite chant ("BEN-nie OL-sen!!") until you get back!

Posted by: Juan-John | February 15, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Tino couldn't get a work permit to play at any pro level in England. I think he is currently a taintedplayer in MLS in that his performances over the past 2 years or so will basically cause teams to take a pass on him. Honestly, he needs to rebuild his reputation on a USL team. He needs to show that he doesn't have an attitude anymore, can be a team player and can stay healthy. I think a solid year or even 2 in the USL would be or tremendous benefit to him returning to MLS. The guy has a family to provide for, he needs to start taking his job seriously.

Posted by: owendylan | February 15, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

BTW, farewell to our colleague, UVA-United. Stay in touch.

Was that Vanney?

Posted by: DCAustinite | February 15, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

With all of the MLS re-treads (Matt Taylor, Fabrice Noel, Willie Sims, Chris Roner, Ryan Solle, Taylor Graham, Eric Denton) that SJ has in camp in order to build its bench, Quaranta could look to rejoin his ex-LA boss Yallop there as they need depth at RM and Forward. Plus, Yallop seems to like using more domestic-based players than foreign imports.

Posted by: Zman | February 15, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I too hope Olsen has a "Third Act" left in him. Nobody enjoyed the end of his Second Act as much as Fire fans, who seemingly got to watch each of their players beat Olsen like a gong in every part of the field.

Bennie's still great in the attacking third, but it's getting very crowded, fast, and Latin up there. Meanwhile, there's still the void at the back, left by Nelsen and never quite filled.

If Ben comes back hobbled, he'll play a Stoichkov role in a farewell tour. If he comes back strong, he still may be "converted" or (gasp) traded. Brace yourselves.

Posted by: Jewnited | February 15, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Santino is only 23? Wow!

Posted by: Bart | February 15, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that Santino is only 23 - that probably explains his level of maturity. I sure hope DCU does not sign him - I hear the Vancouver Whitecaps are interested in former DC players. Honestly, "get into shape" in USL and then get back to the MLS

Posted by: diego r. | February 15, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, farewell to our colleague, UVA-United. Stay in touch.

Posted by: Joe Doc | February 15, 2008 10:51 AM

Isn't this blog accessible from anywhere on earth? Don't we have people chiming in from all over? Why does UVA-United have to give up any of this?

Posted by: 22201 | February 15, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I played against Judah Cooks in HS and club soccer years. I always wondered what happened to him and a couple of the other MD "superstars" of my generation.

Posted by: Omar | February 15, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Santino Quaranta - dcu should pick him up!

The senior leadership should be able to help him get on track again!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Given the timing of his announcement, I suspect that UVA-United is going to Overland Park, KS. I hope he'll be able to get to the DC-KC match and we can look for him on TV. He'll be the one wearing the "I don't (heart) Baltimore" T-shirt :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 15, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Goff: The update on Peay is appreciated, too.

Posted by: 22201 | February 15, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

How weird is that Quaranta situation? Wasn't that guy in USMNT camp not that long ago? Now he can't make an MLS squad??

Posted by: jva | February 15, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

If Quaranta turns up again, I put the odds on him going to Colorado. Clavijo never met a marginally talented yet frequently discarded player who he didn't sign.

Posted by: 5280 | February 15, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Peay is still with Davidson, right?

I was confused as to why UVa-United's leaving DC meant he couldn't blog...perhaps he is going undercover...

Posted by: RK | February 15, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

How did Quaranta burn bridges? In DC or everywhere?

Posted by: Gabe | February 15, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

'Tino blames everyone but himself for his problems.

Posted by: AlecW81 | February 15, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I would welcome Santino back for a tryout. Whatever attitude problems he might have had in the past, his inability to stay healthy and stick with a club over the last two years surely must have chastened him. My issue with him was that he never seemed to be truly in shape, so it is good to see that he is working out.

When he was healthy at DCU, he was talented and versatile. He was the best passer of the ball over distance on the squad. If he can get his head straight and his body fit he could be a very good pickup.

Posted by: Hedbal | February 15, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Would be pretty hilarious if Quaranta signs a Developmental contract somewhere for under $30K after making over $100K for pretty much his entire career previously. But it won't be here.

Posted by: DCUMD | February 15, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I would sign SQ back to the club in a heartbeat. I would make him join the club like a rookie and earn the respect of his teammates, while not cutting him any slack. I would tell him up front that he would have to start with the Reserve team and a contract for $30,000 and add some performance kickers/team options that would allow him to be well-compensated if he proved he could replace Jaime in 2 years.

But he would instantly be our 4th best (at worst) forward on the roster. Truly, no one has ever been able to understudy the Jaime role as well as SQ. Not Freddy, not Jamil, not Rod ... and while Niell may be a better goal scorer, I would love to have a player of Q's quality on the bench.

Let by-gones be by-gones. Remember the mixed-emotions when we found out Jaime was practicing with the Nats in NoVa and then found out we were interested again?

Q was a full international with some promise as recently as 2 seasons ago ... he started getting hurt and fouling things up just at the wrong time (as Gomito was making himself indispensable and the Freddy Circus was forcing Q to the bench whether he played well or not). There is no reason why Q cannot be effective at DC again - unless he doesn't allow it to happen.

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | February 15, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Goff, Jeff Larentowicz is in Bermuda with the Revs, not with FC Delco at the showcase:

(Last paragraph)

Posted by: bwidell | February 15, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

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